“Just three months after abandoning a strategy to let Google Pay users create checking and savings accounts via its proposed Plex service, the search and advertising giant will wade more deeply into other financial services—including cryptocurrency debit cards.
Crypto is something we pay a lot of attention to. As user demand and merchant demand evolves, we’ll evolve with it.
While Ready told Bloomberg that Google isn’t ready for crypto transactions just yet, it’s clear that it’s a part of the strategy moving forward.”
“On Jan. 18, Mike McGlone, senior commodity strategist at Bloomberg Intelligence, sounded the alarm on global markets’ “up only” narrative.
As the Fed attempts to rein in inflation and dramatically decrease asset purchases, the outlook is thus much less appealing for risk assets in the near term. For McGlone, however, there is a silver lining when it comes to Bitcoin’s inherent appeal: ‘I think it’s transitioning from a risk-on to a risk-off asset.’
Here’s my prediction: The markets pull back finally, and we get a 10%–20% correction in the stock market. All correlations are one, which is usually the way it works. Bitcoin comes out better off for it.”
“Associate law professor and member of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Investor Advisory Committee J.W. Verret is calling for the government agency to open for public comment in regards to digital asset regulation.
In a petition addressed to SEC Secretary Vanessa Countryman, Verret said opening the floor to comments on digital assets could function as a ‘Genesis Block’ for the SEC to reform its regulations on digital assets.
The SEC’s present course appears to be one designed to strategically bring cases using the Howey test as a weapon against tokens (and token trading services and technologies), which cannot reasonably be registered as securities (or securities exchanges) under the regulations promulgated pursuant to the ‘33 and ‘34 Acts, even if they wanted to and were required to do so (despite neither necessarily being true). I believe this is ultimately a losing strategy for the SEC as an institution.
According to Verret, the current regulatory path the SEC is taking seems not to recognize that ‘digital assets, by their very design, do not fit within the classic framework of regulations designed for equity investments in firms led by boards of directors.’ The law professor also criticized SEC chair Gary Gensler’s approach of asking crypto projects to “come in and talk to us,” saying many could be concerned that ‘engaging with the SEC may make their project the next enforcement target of the SEC.’
This Digital Asset Reg Genesis Block can commence an interactive process that can make securities regulation more flexible, more robust and ultimately better protect investors.”
“Erik Thedéen said EU regulators should nudge the crypto industry towards the less energy-intensive proof-of-stake mining, in an interview with the Financial Times.
The solution is to ban proof-of-work. Proof-of-stake has a significantly lower energy profile.
The EU does not currently account for a particularly significant share of the proof-of-work mining industry. Bitcoin mining is currently dominated by the U.S. (share of 35.4%), Kazakhstan (18.1%) and Russia (11.23%).”
“Opera has launched the beta version of its “Crypto Browser Project,” an internet browser with built-in Web 3 integrations. The product is targeted at both “the crypto-native and the crypto-curious,” with Opera’s own crypto wallet at the core of its user experience.
The main feature of the browser is that users can switch between applications without having to sign into their wallets for every new tab, which will work for any app that has an Opera wallet integration.
While the current Opera wallet is exclusively compatible with Ethereum, the company plans to roll out Polygon and Solana compatibility in the near future, with a “biglLayer 2 announcement” coming in February.
We actually believe that browsers will be more important in Web 3 than they were in Web 2.”
“Gemini announced the launch of Gemini Prime, which aims to simplify trading for institutional investors by providing access to multiple exchanges and over-the-counter liquidity sources. Gemini Prime, which is already being used by a select group of clients, will be fully rolled out in the second quarter.
A growing number of institutions have expressed a desire to provide crypto services, not least due to demand from their wealthy clients. Last May, Swiss financial giant UBS Group said it was looking for ways to offer exposure to crypto, and a survey in July found that 82% of institutional investors expect to increase their exposure to digital assets by 2023, with four out of 10 expecting to do so dramatically.”
“Although token prices for leading blockchain games like Axie Infinity have fallen recently, the user metrics are up. There are now 398 active blockchain games, defined as having at least one active wallet in the past 24 hours within the game. That’s a 92% increase from a year ago.
User statistics show the rapid pace of adoption of blockchain gaming. According to Massoit, the number of daily unique wallets interacting with game-related smart contracts surged to 1.3 million last year, a 46-fold increase over the 28,000 at the end of 2020.
Meanwhile, venture capital firms have invested $4 billion to support the development and creation of blockchain-based games and their underlying infrastructure. And the fast expansion shows few signs of slowing.”
“The Hedera Governing Council has officially voted to purchase the intellectual property rights to the hashgraph consensus algorithm from founding architect and inaugural member of the council, Swirlds Inc, for an undisclosed fee.
A Wednesday announcement also details plans to transition their code to an open-source model this year under Apache 2.0 license, in addition to deploying community staking and node opportunities, among other updates.
The governing council is composed of 25 corporations, including Google, IBM, Tata Communications and Boeing, who each support the project’s decentralized ambitions through the establishment and operation of blockchain nodes, and participating in governance voting.
The decision to enact this change came about following conclusive technical assessments that the probability of a network split within the Hedera ecosystem is highly unlikely, and therefore the patent upholding legislative exclusivity to the technology can be safely distributed into the public domain, with assurances that it will not serve as an advantageous tool for market competitors but rather a mechanism to foster internal growth.”